Updated February 28th, 2024 at 20:54 IST

Google receives $2.3 bn lawsuit from 32 media groups

The companies alleged suffering losses due to the company's practices in digital advertising.

Reported by: Business Desk
Google | Image:AP

Reclaim profits: Google received a 2.1-billion-euro ($2.3 billion) lawsuit from Axel Springer, Schibsted and 32 other media groups on Wednesday.

The media groups alleged that Google’s practices in digital advertising caused them losses. 

The media publications include those from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain and Sweden.


Others in the group include Austria's Krone, Belgian groups DPG Media and Mediahuis, Denmark's TV2 Danmark A/S, Finland's Sanoma, Poland's Agora, Spain's Prensa Iberica and Switzerland's Ringier.

The move comes as antitrust regulators also moved to question Google's ad tech business.

"The media companies involved have incurred losses due to a less competitive market, which is a direct result of Google's misconduct," as per a statement from the media group’s lawyers Geradin Partners and Stek.


The lawyers said the media companies would have received significantly higher revenues from advertising, and would have to pay lower fee for ad tech services if Google had not abused its dominant position. 

“Crucially, these funds could have been reinvested into strengthening the European media landscape," they added.


Citing the French competition authority's 220-million-euro fine against Google on its ad tech business in 2021, the lawyers also brought to light the European Commission's charges last year to buttress their group claim in context of the case.

Last year, Google had said it did not agree with the antitrust charges imposed by European Union against its ad tech business. Google is part of both the buy-side as well as the sell-side of the supply chain.


Around the globe, publishers in recent years have spoken against the increasing dominance of Big Tech in advertising, owing to a fall in their share of revenues. 

According to analysts, Google happens to be the most dominant digital advertising platform in the world.

As per the group, they filed the lawsuit in a Dutch court owing to the country's reputation as a key jurisdiction for antitrust damages claims in Europe. This was also to evade multiple claims in other European nations.


Published February 28th, 2024 at 20:54 IST